Happy 31st Anniversary of the ADA!

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Throughout the month of July, ACL has been sharing resources for people with disabilities from across the federal government and our partners in the disability networks to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law on July 26, 1990.

Today, on the actual anniversary, there are so many exiting things to share that we can’t send them out individually, so we’ve recapped some of them here.

  • In blog post published this afternoon, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra reflected on the impact of the ADA, lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some of HHS’ work to advance inclusion and accessibility.     
  • In a ceremony this morning attended by leaders from the disability community, including ACL’s Acting Administrator Alison Barkoff, and advocates who helped to ensure the passage of the ADA, President Biden signed a proclamation that encouraged Americans to celebrate the impact of the ADA and the contributions of people with disabilities and affirmed the Administration’s commitment to “upholding and strengthening its protections — and continuing to advance equity, dignity, access, and inclusion.”
  • In a fact sheet released this morning, the White House highlighted some of the Administration’s accomplishments to date and work in progress to continue to advance these goals – and several ACL initiatives made the list. A few highlights:
    • HHS (led by ACL) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a partnership to increase access to accessible, integrated, affordable housing and the services that support community living for people with disabilities.  One focus of the collaboration is working with states participating in the Money Follows the Person program and public housing authorities with available housing choice vouchers targeted to people leaving or at risk of entering nursing homes and other institutions (which can include people experiencing homelessness). We also are working to strengthen partnerships between housing and service networks at the state and local levels to streamline access to both housing and community services for people with disabilities.
    • This online book published by three ACL grantees features infographics, photos, and accessible language, as well as personal perspectives on community living and inclusion shared by people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (ID/DD) who served as advisors to the project to explore the evolution of integration and inclusion of people with ID/DD.
    • This interagency fact sheet on funding opportunities to expand access to competitive integrated employment for youth and adults with disabilities includes ACL funding opportunities.
    • The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released a Q&A  on civil rights and the reopening of schools during the pandemic.    
  • The fact sheet also described a comprehensive package of guidance and resources to support people with “long COVID,” which included:
    • Joint guidance from the HHS Office for Civil Rights and Department of Justice explaining when long COVID can be a disability under various federal civil rights laws. 
    • ACL’s guide to the community-based resources that can help people if they now need assistance to live in their own home, go to work or school, or participate in the community.
    • A new webpage from the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the Department of Labor that includes resources on long COVID, such as information on workplace accommodations. In addition, ODEP released a blog discussing the impact of long COVID on workers with disabilities.
  • Finally, in case you missed them, you also can find links to these ADA-related blogs from HHS leaders:
    • “I am a brown, disabled, adopted scholar-activist:” NIDILRR Director Reflects on the ADA’s impact: In a ACL blog post, Dr. Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, Director of ACL’s National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), reflects on the intersections of her identities and how her experiences have shaped her.
    • Unprecedented Opportunities to Achieve the Promise of Olmstead:Acting Assistant Secretary for Aging and ACL Administrator Alison Barkoff’s blog post celebrating the 22nd anniversary of this important ruling focuses on the unprecedented opportunities we have today to expand HCBS and finally realize the promise of Olmstead. 
    • Renewing our Commitment to Inclusive Early Childhood Programs and Practices: HHS’ Administration for Children & Families published a blog post on the importance of high quality inclusive early childhood education and how ACF is supporting efforts designed to benefit children with disabilities.

We’ve captured all of these and more on our 31st anniversary web page – with more to come this week!

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